Have you witnessed yours or your friend’s dog eat cannabis edibles?
With the legalization of marijuana in many states of the United States and Canada, reported cases of pets accidentally eating cannabis products such as chocolates and cookies are on the rise.
In 2015, a video of a Siberian husky named Loki was trending all over the world after he accidentally induced marijuana. And this is not the only case. Just recently, a 6-year old sheltie named Star almost missed taking part in the dog agility show contest after she consumed loose-leaf pot left by her owner’s husband on the dining table.
Marijuana in any form is harmful to your dog or cat. But cases of marijuana ingestion are more common in dogs than cats because dogs are less scrupulous of what they eat. Reports from VRCC Animal Hospital in Englewood show that they attend to 2-3 animals with marijuana intoxication issues in a week, with 97% of those being dogs.
Below you’ll find the symptoms that you ought to look out for if you suspect your dog has accidentally taken cannabis edibles.
Common Symptoms that Dogs Shows After Cannabis Intoxication
Not every pet owner is lucky to catch their dog consuming cannabis edibles. So, it is important to be aware of the possible signs the dogs will show after inducing marijuana.
While the effects of THC in pets are dependent on many factors such as the size of the dog, the amount of cannabis consumed, and the level of concentration, here are some common symptoms to look out for:
- Loss of balance
- Uncontrolled urination
- Lower blood pressure
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Seizures or coma (in extreme cases)
What to Do
The first step to take when you suspect that your dog has induced marijuana is to take them to a veterinarian. And don’t be afraid, the doctors will not condemn you or report you to the police. So be honest with them.
If are just suspicious but aren’t sure whether your pet induced marijuana, the veterinarian will perform a urine test to determine whether your fears are true. Your veterinarian can obtain human urine drug tests from a drugstore or pharmacy section from a grocery store. These drug tests are able to detect the availability of marijuana or any other drug in your dog’s urine. Don’t worry it won’t take long. You will get accurate results in about 5 to 10 minutes.
Once the veterinarian has confirmed that indeed your dog induced marijuana, the focus now will be to remove marijuana from the dog’s system as soon as possible. If the diagnosis is done within a short time and your dog appears normal, the vets will try to induce the dog to vomit to avoid further issues. However, don’t do this yourself as this may lead to severe complications like aspirations that can harm your dog more.
Hydrogen peroxide is a common substance that vets use to induce dogs to vomit. However, this should not be used if your dog is too lethargic (an indication that THC is already in the bloodstream)
If your dog is showing extreme signs of marijuana ingestion like exhaustion, urinary incontinence or wobbly legs, the vets might recommend your dog be hospitalized for some hours. While there is no way to reverse the THC in the dog’s system, the vets will administer drugs that will help clear the dog’s system faster. This includes Intravenous fluids (IV), and oral activated charcoal, among others.
Intravenous fluids are known to fasten the cleansing of marijuana in the dog’s urine, while activated charcoal binds the drug in the gastrointestinal tract, reducing its absorption and help remove it through excretion.
Your pet will require close monitoring until all marijuana has been cleared in its system. During this time, the blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature and breathing pattern of your pet should be monitored.
Due to its sedative elements, marijuana can lead to a life-threatening coma. But with intervention and proper care from a veterinarian, marijuana effects are controlled. However, to ensure that your lovely pets are not intoxicated by marijuana in the future, keep your cannabis edibles in places where they can’t reach.